Junior Allison Serido said the Journalism and Media Studies major at SC&I caught her attention at first sight, motivating her to transfer to Rutgers-New Brunswick after her first year at a different university.
“I was not only attracted to the broad range of course offerings,” Serido said, “but also to the impressive caliber of professors who are actively engaged in award-winning work and research in the field. As an individual with diverse interests, I found the extensive scope of the JMS courses to be an ideal platform for me to explore and carve out my own path, with the added benefit of creative freedom within my academic pursuits and exposure to various sectors of this vast field.”
The SC&I faculty and alumni have also been an invaluable resource for her, Serido said, providing her with exceptional opportunities and networking prospects.
“The supportive environment at SC&I, particularly among the JMS community, has been a constant source of encouragement and motivation for me to reach my full potential,” Serido said.
Read our full profile with Serido below to learn more about the ways she’s leveraging the opportunities she's found at SC&I to help her reach her professional goals.
SC&I: Which classes and instructors have had the greatest impact on you so far and why?
AS: Truthfully, every instructor I've encountered on my JMS journey has made a profound impact on me in unique ways. From the start, during my first semester at Rutgers, I had the pleasure of learning from Dr. Amy Jordan, a Professor and the Chair of Journalism and Media Studies, who broadened my perspective on the potential within this field. She also emphasized how it's an ever-evolving industry where one must continuously learn and unlearn certain preconceptions. However, it was my Public Information and Public Relations course with Professor John Samerjan that inspired me to apply for graduate school. He not only had professional experience but also had extensive knowledge of teaching foundational principles. In his class, we simulated press conferences and designed comprehensive media kits as if we were working for an agency. Through this, I found my niche in this expansive field. With his guidance and encouragement, I applied and was accepted into Rutgers' dual-degree program at the School of Communication and Information, where I will be pursuing a Master of Communication and Media degree with a specialization in Public Relations. More recently, my current instructor, Professor Steve Miller, has made an indelible impact on my mindset and self-confidence. Serving as a Professor of Professional Practice and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Journalism and Media Studies, he has constantly motivated me to never doubt myself and encouraged me to grow in ways I never thought possible.
SC&I: How did being a FIGS instructor and teaching your course “Exploring Journalism and Media Studies” influence your appreciation for JMS as an area of study? What else did you learn from that opportunity?
AS: Being a FIGS instructor was a transformative experience unlike any other. As an undergraduate student pursuing a degree unrelated to education, I initially felt overwhelmed with anxiety and doubted my ability to effectively teach and guide first-year students toward success. However, working alongside my fellow peer instructors and the supportive team at the Career Exploration and Success (CES) office, I began to realize my worth and capability as a successful mentor and instructor. Crafting a 10-week course plan and syllabus allowed me to slowly regain my confidence and reignite a deeper passion for the field. It was as though I was standing before all my past selves, encouraging them to pursue their passions and explore without reservation. Upon stepping into room 201 at the School of Communication and Information on the first day of class, I felt as though I had found a new family. Through advocating for the major to impressionable minds, I was able to further explore the vastness of the field and the myriad of opportunities it offers to those who immerse themselves in it. This experience fostered my admiration and appreciation for the field, and I grew into not only a better student, but a mentor, a friend, and an inspirational instructor. As a result, I gained valuable knowledge and skills that will translate into any future endeavors. This experience is the cornerstone of my personal and professional growth, and for that, I am truly grateful.
SC&I: What are your career aims, either current or aspirational?
AS: As the world of journalism and media rapidly evolves, I am open to the endless opportunities that may come my way. Although my current career aspirations following graduation and graduate school at SC&I are focused on content creation, digital marketing, editing, or public relations, I remain flexible and open to any path that presents itself. My goal is to develop a versatile skill set that can be applied to a broad range of career paths. To achieve this goal, I am actively seeking summer internships to gain exposure to new environments and expand my knowledge as a journalism student. I am enthusiastic about the possibility of immersing myself in diverse areas and engaging with a variety of perspectives, knowing that this will aid in my development and further my career prospects. I am ready to embrace any challenge that comes my way and eager to continue growing and evolving as a professional in the ever-changing landscape of journalism and media.
SC&I: What is some advice you’ve received at SC&I, Rutgers, or elsewhere that has served you well and/or advice you'd like to share with current or prospective students?
AS: One valuable piece of advice that I have received during my time at SC&I is to avoid comparing my journey to that of others. It is important to recognize that you never truly know someone else's connections, experiences, or skill set, and no matter how capable or accomplished you may be, there will always be individuals who excel more in different areas. While it can be difficult to accept this reality, it is important to acknowledge that your path will not be linear and that your journey is uniquely your own. As you progress through your academic and professional pursuits, you may find that your classmates secure internships and job opportunities that you have also applied for or aspire to in the future. However, it is important to remind yourself that this does not diminish your own worth or potential for success. The selection process for specific roles is often complex and nuanced, and it is impossible to fully understand the specific qualities or experiences that led to someone else's success. By staying focused on your own goals and aspirations, you can cultivate a sense of confidence and optimism as you navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of the media and communications industry.
Discover more about the Journalism and Media Studies major and the Master of Communication and Media degree program at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information on the website.